For all of the gadgets that we have that are geared towards helping people lose weight, good old-fashioned walking is still one of the best ways to drop extra pounds.
If you are trying to lose weight through walking, one of the best things that you can do to boost the chances of success for your efforts is to go out and buy a pedometer. Pedometers are extremely cheap and can go a long ways in helping you gauge how many miles you walk in a day, and how many more you might need to walk in order to lose weight.
In order to find out how many miles you need to cover to drop extra pounds, you need to find out how many you are currently covering. This way, you will know by how much you need to increase your steps, or distance each day in order to be able to see a difference in the number on the scale.
For example; if you currently take 8,000 steps with your existing routine and daily habits and are maintaining weight, the number of steps that you need to increase your daily distance to lose weight is simply a matter of mathematics; increasing your mileage according to the number of calories you want to burn.
Too rainy for a walk? Try these at home cardio workout videos:
How many steps do I need to take to lose weight?
The average person has a stride that is 2.5 feet long. Using this stride length, there are roughly 1,500 steps in the average person’s mile.
Each mile that a person walks burns roughly 100 calories. If a person was to commit to walking 4,500 extra steps per day, or roughly 3 extra miles, they would be burning an extra 300 calories a day (at least). Burning 300 calories each day leads to a weekly deficit of 2100 calories. After a month, that’s roughly 9000 cal burned, which equates to approximately 2.6 pounds lost. Keep it up for a year and you’re looking at over 31 pounds lost!
Accumulating those three extra miles a day could be as simple as making small changes such as parking further from the store that you’re visiting, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or pacing while you're talking on the phone. Even if you were to do the 3 miles in one fell swoop, it would only take an extra 45 minutes out of your day.
How many miles a day do YOU need to walk to lose weight?
The number of miles per day that you need to walk to lose weight really depends on your starting point. As mentioned above, it’s important to find out what your starting point is in terms of your activity level, the number of calories you’re currently burning in the day, and the distance that you are covering on average. Once you have an idea of what these figures are for your personal habits and activities, you’ll get a good idea of how many additional steps you need to take each day to see results.
Remember, it’s all a simple math equation.
Here are the basic numbers;
1 Mile = 1500 steps
1 Mile walked = 100 calories burned
1 Pound = 3500 calories
2 Pound weight loss per week = 7000 cal, or a 500 cal deficit per day
1 Pound weight loss per week just by walking = 5 extra miles walked per day - or 7,500 extra steps (in addition to the distance that you are currently covering while maintaining weight)
1 Pound weight loss per week with diet changes and walking combined = 2.5 extra miles walked per day (3750 extra steps), and 250 calories less consumed per day, for a total daily caloric deficit of 500 calories.
Important: If you are trying to lose weight, make sure that you are also doing strength training - people who are trying to lose weight often think that strength training will make them bulky or that they should wait until they lose the extra weight before they "begin to tone". In fact, the longer you avoid strength training, the longer you are putting off easier weight loss and maintenance. Strength training is absolutely essential to losing weight, keeping a fast metabolism and a healthy body, and it can be modified to challenge anyone, from beginner to advanced. Strength training is healthy for people ages 3-110; as long as the training is smart, the health benefits are bountiful. Here are some great strength training routines to choose from that require only simple handweights:
Also make sure that you cool down and stretch when you finish each walk. We've listed some of our favorite free stretching workout videos below.
Walking is an excellent and healthy way to get fit and/or lose weight. Combine your walking habit with strength training workouts and you will be able to build muscle content, which burns calories at a higher rate than fat, even while you’re resting.